Trip out to Light Heat and more at Race Street Pier’s next Third Thursday concert

The just-announced August installment of Race Street Pier’s Third Thursday Live and Local free concert series is sure to be a delight for the senses. Slated for August 15th, it brings together several psychedelic Philly notables for a night of sonic bliss along the Delaware. Light Heat (whose debut LP is getting all kinds of praise) will be joined by legendary noise-mongers Bardo Pond (who are coming up on two decades of feedback-wrangling) and guitar shaman Chris Fosyth (the new LP he’s dropping on Paradise of Bachelors this fall is going to be great). The free event runs from 7 to 10 p.m., and more information can be found at the show’s Facebook event page. Below, listen to / download music from each of the artists on the bill – and check out Light Heat’s Key Studio Session here.


My Morning Download: “The Mirror” by Light Heat (from the WXPN/Key Studio Session)

Photo by Abi Reimold |
Photo by Abi Reimold |

Several weeks ago we featured the “new” local band, Light Heat in a fantastic Key Studio Session. Light Heat is the new project from Quentin Stoltzfus, a longtime player in the local scene (and beyond). His band Mazarin released a string of stellar albums in the early 00s, and before that he was in the dreamy 90s group Azusa Plane. Light Heat’s self-titled release is out now and is one of the best releases by a Philly band so far this year. Over ten songs, the band embrace dreamy psychedelic-pop and rock music with dazzling results. Light Heat recorded several songs from its new album in the WXPN studios. Quentin brought along Mickey Walker and Drew Mills (formerly of Blood Feathers), Peter Bauer (of The Walkmen) and Skyler Skjelset (of Fleet Foxes) to record the session. Below, download “The Mirror.”


Making new rock and roll legends with Tame Impala at the Electric Factory (photos, review, setlist)

Tame Impala | Photo by Rachel Barrish |
Tame Impala | Photo by Rachel Barrish |

All photos by Rachel Barrish |

A lot of people say that rock is dead. There’s no large-and-in-charge band that takes the stage to a packed room. No more crowds of rabid fans waiting to hear Led Zeppelin play their epic songs or Page’s soaring guitar solos. There are no more girls screaming at the sight of The Beatles as they step off their plane. There are no more Pink Floyd laser light shows. Rock bands are still out there, but the rock fan has dwindled and rock has become more of an add-on to other genres. Indie rock, electronic rock, folk-rock, etc. So we’ll never have another truly great rock band.

Or so I thought until I went to see Tame Impala at The Electric Factory last night. The place was packed to the rafters with longhaired spectators waiting to hear the Australian group. The room was electric with energy; the ambience was perfect. Next to me, fans were arguing about which song would be first.

But they’d have to wait to hear Tame Impala, because Light Heat was up first as the openers. A relatively new Philly band, Light Heat came on and rocked the stage with a very full and very loud sound. At times, it was hard to hear their instruments, as the speakers blended everything into one large mass of a chord. But Light Heat brought a powerful energy with them and warmed up the crowd with songs from their self-titled debut that comes out on Tuesday, giving it their all on stage.

After a short break, I got a taste of my first real modern rock band. As Tame Impala took the stage, the audience began screaming. After a quick hello, the band burst into, not a song, but a long psychedelic jam, taking the crowd aback with surprise until the jam somehow morphed into “Solitude is Bliss.” The audience went wild. Continue reading →


The Week So Far: 12 must-read stories on The Key (incl. Big Footprints Project, Make Music Philly, Light Heat)


Photo by Nina Sabatino
Photo by Nina Sabatino

The Dead Milkmen continue their sudden streak of new recordings with Welcome to Undertown [link]

Light Heat recorded a psych-rock Key Studio Session with some help from members of The Walkmen and Fleet Foxes [link]

Local musicians give back to the community with Modern Baseball-frontman Brendan Lukens’ new label Big Footprints Project [link]

Balto and Holly Williams turn in a pair of great live sessions for Folkadelphia [link and link]

Get to know Sylvia Platypus, Vikesh Kapoor and more in our Make Music Philly Spotlight [link]

Stream Rosu Lup‘s new Currents EP ahead of their record release show at The Fire on July 13th [link]

Scottish rockers Frightened Rabbit announced a fall show at the Electric Factory on October 27th [link]

The Key highlights the Firefly Festival undercard with The Key’s week-long Firefly Under the Radar feature [link]

Third Thursdays Live and Local kicks off tomorrow night at Race Street Pier with Dice Raw, Lushlife and more [link]

Stephen Marley remixes his father’s “Three Little Birds” for a new collaborative release in the latest installment of XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week [link]

Check out recaps and reviews of this week’s live concerts, including The Postal Service and Junip [link]

Catnaps say goodbye with a new EP called Forget About It [link]


The Key Studio Sessions: Light Heat

All photos by Abi Reimold |

Philly psychedelic rock outfit Light Heat popped up unexpectedly last summer, but they certainly didn’t come out of nowhere. Frontman and songwriter Quentin Stoltzfus is a longtime player in the local scene (and beyond); his knockout band Mazarin released a string of stellar albums in the early 00s, and before that he was in the dreamy 90s outfit Azusa Plane – back when “Psychedelphia” was the buzzword du jour. Stoltzfus is well-traveled in the musical world, and it was a thrill to have him in our studio recording a Key Session of all-new songs that hold up so strongly to his past work. It was equally a thrill to work with the players he brought along – in addition to longtime collaborators Mickey Walker and Drew Mills (formerly of Blood Feathers), this lineup of Light Heat included Peter Bauer (of The Walkmen) and Skyler Skjelset (of Fleet Foxes). The band’s self-titled album is out next Tuesday on Brooklyn label Ribbon Music – and is streaming now via The New York Times – and it opens a sold-out show with Tame Impala at The Electric Factory tonight, then headlines an album release party presented by Philebrity at AKA Music next Tuesday, June 25th.


Light Heat’s new album now streaming at The New York Times website (appearing on XPN Philly Local tonight)

LightHeatLight Heat‘s self-titled debut is due out on June 25th via Ribbon Music, but if you’re itching to hear it now, the album is now available to stream at The New York Times website. The local psych-rockers will be in town for two up-coming shows, supporting Tame Impala at the Electric Factory on June 19th, as well performing a free in-store concert at AKA Music on June 25th. In addition to that, Light Heat is this week’s Key Studio Session guest, so be sure to tune in to WXPN tonight at 9:30 to hear their performance and check back to the blog tomorrow morning to get a download of it.. Listen to the New York Times stream here.



Watch Light Heat’s new music video for “And the Birds…” (playing Electric Factory and AKA this month)

Light Heat

Light Heat are gearing up to release their self-titled debut album on June 25th, play AKA Music in support of it and play the Electric Factory with Tame Impala June 19th.  In the meantime, they just released a music video for the album’s title track, “And The Birds…”  The catchy folk-rock tune drifts along at a bright midtempo pace with a breezy video to match. Hazy images pass by in flashes of rainbow colors through a vintage filter.  The two fit together perfectly and definitely make the wait for what’s sure to be an amazing debut a little easier.  Check out the video below.